Seal and Sea Lion Populations Trends at the Channel Islands

Ventura, CA —Population changes of seal and sea lion species at the
Channel Islands, including the recent high abandonment rate of
California sea lion pups, will be discussed by marine biologist Dr.
Brent Stewart during the May From Shore to Sea lecture.

Since the near extinction of California sea lions and northern
elephant seals due to hunting in the late 1800’s, populations have
increased steadily and at relatively high rates. The primary colonies
for these species are found at the Channel Islands.

Stewart will explain how oceanographic fluctuations have affected each
species, both positively and negatively, during the past several
decades. For California sea lions he will explain apparent collapses
of the food chain in the Southern California Bight over the last two
years which have resulted in the early weaning and high abandonment of
substantial numbers of pups. He will explore the impacts of this on
the long term outlook for seal and sea lion populations in local

Stewart is a Senior Research Scientist at Hubbs-Sea World Research
Institute. He has studied the population biology, foraging and
physical ecology, and behavior of marine mammals, seabirds, sea
turtles and whale sharks for over 35 years. He holds a Master of
Science degree in Ecology from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D.
in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The talk will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015. The From Shore to Sea
lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to
further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands
and surrounding marine waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 pm on the
second Thursday of March, April, May, September, October, and November
at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor
Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura Harbor. The programs are free
and open to the public.

This lecture can also be viewed live online at:

Lectures are recorded and posted at:


Yvonne Menard
Chief of Interpretation & Public Information Officer
Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura, CA 93001
Phone (805) 658-5725
Fax (805) 658-5799

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